In the November edition of the Bride Valley News it was explained that there were moves afoot to produce a village plan, or more correctly a Parish Plan; this article outlines what progress has been made so far. The small group of people working on this project now have a clear process set out for this initial stage in the development process for our Plan.
As indicated previously, it is imperative that everyone in the parish feels able to contribute their ideas and express their concerns. Equally, people need an opportunity to discover more about external influences that will be considered in developing a Plan for our community. To this end a twin track approach is being adopted culminating in an open forum that was held on Saturday 29 January between 10am and 4pm in the WI Hall.
Prior to the open forum, a non-attributable questionnaire was circulated to every household in the Parish. Karen Venn designed the questionnaire following a recent community planning exercise in West Dorset, with input from our own Vital Villages consultation a few years ago. Initially, it was designed to cover broad issues, whereas later on it will lead to a more refined survey(s) seeking parishioners' views on social, environmental and economic issues that affect the Parish. The information gleaned from this consultation will all contribute to the final plan in one way or another. It was hoped that as many people as possible would fill in the forms. The completed questionnaire was either posted in the box provided at the open forum, or in those provided in the village shop, the Post Office or the library by Monday 31 January at the latest.
The Open Day, co-ordinated by David Dixon, gave everyone a chance to learn about the Plan, what it entails and most importantly, provided an avenue for all parishioners to have an additional input. The Hall was turned into a "market place" of tables and standing displays with villagers and people from influential organisations and agencies (e.g.WDDC, Environment Agency, Heritage Coast etc.) on hand to explain how their activities might influence the Parish, and hence the Plan, and what could be achieved in the Parish. Most importantly, before people left, they were given the opportunity to note issues of concern, or how they would wish the local area to develop, bearing in mind the intention is to take into account village needs in something like 25 years time i.e. the parish needs a long term strategy if it is to be as parishioners would wish it to be in 25 years' time.
It was hoped that as many people as possible would come along and participate, and the organisers & exhibitors were delighted with the turnout.
If anyone wants more information, or would like to take part in the various groups focusing on particular topics, or would otherwise like to contribute they should contact either:
Dave Dixon - 01308 898 620
Elise Ripley - 01308 897 010